Career counselors are usually employed in academic settings, aiding students in building future educational or career paths. They typically help clients evaluate their abilities and interests, overcome challenges and obstacles, and develop necessary skills. Moreover, they may assist people in learning how to job hunt, including associated activities such as interviewing, writing resumes and crafting cover letters.
When writing your career counselor job description, be sure to emphasize several crucial and necessary skills. You’ll need to attract candidates who are excellent communicators, as well as compassionate listeners who can express true empathy toward clients.
Finally, your career counselor job description should mention educational and licensing requirements. Most ideal applicants should hold a master’s degree in counseling or a related field, as well as state-issued credentials. Look at our example to get an idea of what essentials to include in your own job posting.
Career Counselor Job Summary
Your next opportunity to help people and make a difference might lie in our open career counselor position. As part of the career services center for a large public university, you’ll provide a wealth of useful information in key areas such as career discovery and planning, interviewing skills, resume writing and more. You’ll also have the chance to work one-on-one with individual students, playing an important role as a leader or mentor in helping these individuals shape their futures. Interaction with our diverse student body in an affirming, positive environment affords you the intangible benefits of putting your interpersonal communication talents to work in coaching and guiding our students. In addition, you’ll enjoy a competitive pay and benefits package along with opportunities for growth and advancement.
- Guide students in determining their interests and abilities using a wide range of methods, such as aptitude assessments, interviews and planning materials
- Counsel individual learners, working with them to aid in the development of both hard and soft skills
- Conduct group workshops on a variety of topics, including writing resumes and cover letters, successful job interviewing, using university employment databases and career development resources, researching graduate programs, and more
- Work with students to overcome issues that could undermine their academic or career success
- Help students craft a long-term plan for reaching their career objectives
- Connect learners to additional resources such as financial aid, vocational training, extensive counseling and therapy services, medical care providers, or other state and local assistance as needed
- Plan and publicize the career services center’s programs and events such as workshops, job fairs, and orientation sessions
- Collaborate with faculty, staff and other student services divisions to help achieve university-wide goals and contribute to its long-range planning
Job Skills & Qualifications
- Master’s degree in education, career counseling or similar field
- Pass a background check and drug screening
- Hold a current state-issued Resident Educator License
- Two years of classroom teaching experience or prior experience as a career counselor
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Career Counselor Job Responsibilities
Hiring a career counselor means finding a candidate with a delicate balance of skills and the sensitivity needed to guide students in making job choices that will decide the rest of their lives. Your hiring choices are no less critical, and perhaps your most valuable tool in your recruitment process is a skillfully crafted, thoughtfully designed job responsibilities section within your career counselor job description.
Many employers make the mistake of providing either too much or too little information in job descriptions. Too much information and candidates won’t bother to read the data dump, but too little and your ideal candidate might pass you by without the information needed to know if they want the job. Strike a balance by breaking your career counselor job description down into 8-10 effective bullets, then make those bullets count by beginning each sentence with a dynamic action verb.
To see how this works in practice, review our sample career counselor job responsibilities:
- Advise undergraduate and graduate level students on career development and prospects after university graduation
- Provide insight on useful coursework and degree programs supporting career aspirations
- Offer focus and clarity to struggling students in selecting career paths and majors
- Monitor student progress and reports to determine potential problems
- Prepare weekly reports for submission to department head
Career Counselor Job Specifications
You already have a good idea of what you do and don’t want in a candidate. The next step is to convey that in your career counselor job description. By including a job qualifications and skills section in the job description, you can cut down on unwanted applications from candidates who just aren’t suited for the position. Save yourself time and effort by deciding on the traits you absolutely can’t live without in a career counselor, and condense them into a list of 5-6 criteria candidates can screen themselves against.
If you’re not sure what qualifications to use for the role, consider factors such as education level, experience and the type of personality most suited for the job. Combine these ideas with feedback from people the career counselor will work with and your knowledge of the skills that best suit your organization’s culture. Using these techniques, you can refine your career counselor job description.
Here’s how we wrote our example career counselor job specifications:
- Master’s degree in psychology, sociology, psychiatry, education or related discipline required
- Ph.D. preferred
- At least 5 years of experience working with undergraduate and graduate level students in a university setting
- Ability to remain neutral when dealing with sensitive situations
- Excellent tact, diplomacy and conflict resolution skills